How to get your child to study when you don’t have to go to school

If a child doesn’t do his homework during quarantine
Distance learning doesn’t give a child “F”, the teacher doesn’t look at him with a strict gaze, and the homework with go math 5 grade can be stretched over a week. If the child has not developed skills of self-organization, parents have to push him, which sooner or later leads to conflicts. Is it possible to make a child force himself to study?

“Studying remotely is more difficult, they ask more than usual,” complain the schoolchildren. But instead of complaining and waiting for this period to end, maybe we should reconsider personal self-organization and benefit from such a regime?

There is a whole direction that in the business community is called “self-management” – a system of self-management. Why not use it in school education? We will not delve into theory, but only use the tools that will help you effectively manage time, your own energy and concentration, which, in turn, will allow you to achieve your goals.

Where do I see myself in 5 years?
Try to figure out with your child, “What is go math sixth grade for?” You can do this with the help of a very simple but effective exercise: write on a piece of paper what your child sees himself or herself as in 5 years.

Someone will write that he or she studies at a lyceum, participates in Olympiads, is fluent in two languages, plays the drums, collects robots and is popular with the opposite sex because he or she has an athletic physique, communicates well and has many followers on social networks.

Someone will already pass the exam and get into a dream university, speak at scientific events and publish articles in Web of Science, save the world from ecological disaster, live separately from parents and have a pug.

The main challenge in this exercise is to understand what the child sees himself or herself as in a few years. After all, in order for this to happen, you need to start moving in this direction today. It is important to explain to the child that schoolwork and future direction in life are inextricably linked, although it may not seem so at first glance.

20 hours a week to achieve a goal
In order for goals to become a reality it is necessary to act, the results will not just fall on their heads as a gift (maybe a pug), it will require skills and abilities that need to be developed over the years. About this, too, you should talk to your child. It is necessary to explain that the sooner he starts, the faster he will reach his goals.

In the book “Geniuses and Outsiders” Malcolm Gladwell proves that geniuses are not born, but become as a result of hard work. He cites a number of studies that show that excellence in any field can be achieved with 10,000 hours of practice – that’s about three hours a day or 20 hours a week for ten years.

This applies even to prodigies. If you take Mozart, for example, who started writing music at age 6, his most outstanding works are considered those he wrote at age 21 and beyond. Once again: the earlier a child starts practicing, the faster he will achieve mastery.

So, the big goals are set, now the main task – every day to take steps to achieve them. And to do that you have to at least graduate high school, right? Don’t count on Bill Gates to succeed. And Bill Gates became what he became, not because he dropped out of Harvard, but because he spent 20-30 hours a week in a computer lab and mastered programming from the eighth grade to high school graduation.

Three important things to do every day
Tasks are many, it is important to prioritize them. Give more attention to some things, and less to others. This is easy to do if you know the end goal. The “rule of three” will help – at the beginning of each day, before you start doing tasks, you need to decide what three important things should be done by the end of the day. For example, the priorities for today are math, computer science and English, so these activities should be the main focus, the rest – the rest of the time.

Use the most active time in the day.
What else would help? Undoubtedly, knowing the circadian rhythms of a child. This is the body’s internal biological clock, which is responsible for periods of sleep and wakefulness, decline and increase activity. Almost all living organisms on the planet have such a clock.

How should the ideal human daily routine be arranged? At 4-5 a.m. the body prepares for awakening: melatonin production begins to decrease, body temperature rises, the production of “activity hormones” – cortisol and adrenaline – increases. These phenomena are intensified under the influence of light, heat and noise.

But “owls” and “larks” have different indicators. Most people are of the “dove” chronotype, their activity peaks in the morning around 9-10 am and in the afternoon around 3-17 pm. Only 20% of people have a well-defined morning or evening activity type, so there are not many true “owls” and “larks”. When planning your day, it is important to consider the level of energy fluctuation during the day and use the biological “prime time” to your child’s advantage.

How to beat procrastination
Constantly putting off important things and tasks, which leads to negative consequences and causes mental suffering, is called procrastination. Familiar with it? “Things to do for later are put off by everyone. Procrastination is inherent in human nature,” says Tim Pitchel, bestselling author of “Don’t Procrastinate Tomorrow: A Quick Guide to Procrastination.”

What tasks are we more likely to procrastinate on? Boring, complicated, during which there is a feeling of futility of effort, unstructured and ambiguous, with no value to you as an individual, containing no “reward within yourself” (when there is no pleasure in the process of completion).

What to do with such tasks? Change the negative triggers to positive ones. If you’re bored, you can, for example, do the task together with your classmates; if it’s difficult, you can break it up into parts, think up a reward for doing it yourself.

It is important to catch yourself procrastinating in time and think about the negative consequences of not doing the assignment. “It takes more time and energy to experience the fear of a task than the task itself,” notes Rita Emmett, author of “The Book for Slackers.” And she’s right!

How to make up for a lack of energy
Finally, a few words about energy. Let’s say a child knows what he wants and has enough time to do everything. It would seem that this is it, get it and do it. But it’s still there. Either nothing happens, or he starts, but gives up after a couple of days or weeks. Why does this happen? Not enough energy! Where to get it?

First, a good night’s sleep is the foundation of the basics: health, mood and attractiveness. Some people need seven hours, some need nine. It is known that girls need more sleep than boys. In winter you need more sleep than in summer. If there are problems with sleep – look for a way to solve them. Change your child’s bed, curtain the windows, offer soothing teas at night, air the room, lower the temperature in the bedroom before going to bed, and no gadgets an hour before bedtime.

Secondly, physical activity, which will give a charge of energy, and as a bonus – a trim body, good posture, unloading the nervous system. The most important thing is to choose an activity that gives you pleasure, and to do it regularly. Dancing, yoga, fitness – let the child choose what he or she likes best. You can use online applications or lessons on YouTube – there are a lot of options now.

Thirdly, a healthy regular diet. It’s hard to give specific recommendations, the selection of nutrition is very individual. It is important to get a sufficient amount of protein, fiber, various micronutrients and vitamins. It is known that heavy meat food requires energy for digestion, so after such a meal you feel sleepy. Simple carbohydrates (pastries, sweets) have a short effect and require supplementation, it is advisable to exclude them from the regular diet. Focus on foods that give energy – fruits, vegetables, nuts (complex carbohydrates).

And, most importantly, do not forget to praise your child for the tasks he is doing! Remind him that he does them not for the teachers or parents, but for himself – in order to move towards his dreams. Everything is in our hands!